Federal investigation into US chemical train derailment
Huge column of fire and smoke, evacuation of 2,000 residents, but no environmental contamination – such is the current balance of the chemical train disaster that occurred at the beginning of the month in Ohio, USA. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to Rynek Kolejowy.
The crash happened on February 3 in East Palestine, Ohio. Around 9 p.m., a Norfolk Southern train carrying 150 wagons of chemicals, including vinyl chloride, derailed. As many as 50 wagons derailed, a huge fire broke out, and 2,000 out of 4,700 residents were evacuated.
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About 20 wagons were filled with hazardous materials, according to the New York Times. The National Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed the release of vinyl chloride and other hazardous substances into air, water and soil. Five wagons were deliberately lowered into a ditch and set on fire, fearing an explosion.
The agency reports that, apart from a foul odor, no environmental pollution has been reported. Residents returned home after five days, and the air and water are still being tested. Residents complained of headaches and showed photos of dead animals, but the connection of these events with the disaster has not been confirmed.
County officials and residents are considering suing the railroad over the accident. Federal authorities are already conducting a separate investigation of the crash.
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